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Letter to the Editor: Progressive Contactors Association of Canada responds to prevailing wage rate debate

Paul de Jong
Letter to the Editor: Progressive Contactors Association of Canada responds to prevailing wage rate debate


To the Editor,

In his response to PCA’s article on the dangers of regulatory capture, Canada’s Building Trades Unions executive director Sean Strickland glides past some important considerations.

PCA stands by its statement that a government imposed “prevailing wage” will cause massive industry disruption.  

First, for the record, PCA is not “non-union.” To the contrary. Our member companies are affiliated with CLAC, a bone fide labour union with a collaborative labour model that promotes innovation, efficiency and good value in the construction of capital and infrastructure projects across Canada. 

PCA member companies welcome the opportunity to play a greater role in the transition to a net-zero economy. We support federal tax incentives to speed up that transition.

However, we believe requiring companies to comply with a proposed artificial wage rate, in order to qualify for the full Investment Tax Credit (ITC), is a “solution in search of a problem.”  

Today, at the height of a skilled labour shortage, skilled construction workers are commanding and receiving excellent wages and benefits across the board. That’s how a competitive construction market works. It’s a market that offers a range of labour models and provides workers with choice, and that’s a good thing.  

A “one wage to rule them all” approach does not help workers in the long run, as investors will not support projects that are inflexible and overpriced. When that happens, Canadians miss out on valuable investment, economic opportunities and a lot of good paying jobs.  

Governments have no role to play in deciding worker remuneration, especially when it translates into more job-killing red tape, higher costs and fewer clean energy projects.  

While the proposed ITC program may look good on paper for workers, it’s a red flag for corporate and institutional investors, who aren’t receptive to high-cost regimes.  

When rigid and costly government policies cause major project proponents to start rethinking whether to build their green energy projects here, all Canadians lose out, especially skilled trades workers.  


Paul de Jong
President and CEO
of the Progressive
Contractors Association of Canada

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